At 63, University Canada West (UCW) graduand Glen Dietz is a shining example that you’re never too old to learn new scholarly ideas that challenge your intellect. If you are like Dietz—a lifelong learner, good at knowledge transference and a stellar time manager—you could also clinch a Medal for Academic Excellence.
The medal (formerly Dean’s Award) goes to graduands earning the highest marks in their program. For Dietz, maintaining a 4.0 cumulative grade point average in his online Master of Business Administration (MBA) studies at UCW was all in a day’s work, one course per term for four and a half years.
The London, Ontario resident, who recently landed a job as an informatics technical specialist at Abbott Laboratories, was working full-time as a healthcare consultant when he started his MBA at UCW in late 2011. Fully engaged in running his own business at the time, this retired clinical laboratories administrative director longed to learn more.
“I am committed to life-long learning, and missed the academic fulfillment that comes from learning new concepts and subject matter,” explains the avid scuba diver and Etobicoke Underwater Club (EUC) member.
“So I made a decision to enrol in an MBA program. I selected UCW because the university allowed me to complete each of my courses on-line in my own time. I had about three hours of commute time daily to get to work, much of it on a train, and used the commute time to work on course assignments.”
Enviable multitasking skills and an insatiable appetite for knowledge drove Dietz’s success. The symbiotic relationship between his work and university experience deepened his dedication.
“The course material for the UCW MBA program often provided inspiration for addressing issues I was experiencing at work, or issues that I was facing at work helped me to select courses that would help me understand how best to address those issues,” explains Dietz. “Often I was able to apply course material either directly or indirectly to work related activities.”
Dietz’s knack for knowledge transference even inspired him to apply what he was learning in his MBA courses to solving problems in his hobbies.
“I was able to create a membership survey as part of the MBAR 660 course to assess the reasons members joined the EUC and the programs or services that the members value,” says Dietz. “This survey was useful to the EUC executive to develop a strategic plan for dealing with membership recruitment and retention.”
The modernist cuisine aficionado now looks forward to applying a business model he developed in another course to creating a shared service commercial kitchen franchise.
The Mitchell, Ontario native says, aside from the online access, there were two other key features that made him look west to UCW to do his MBA. They were the university’s “well-organized web portal to present course material and allow course participants to interact” and its MBA’s “focus on leadership and strategic planning rather than financial management.”
UCW is part of the Global University Systems (GUS) international network of higher-education institutions headquartered in the Netherlands. With institutions and affiliates across the UK, Canada, Germany and Singapore the group educates more than 50,000 students from 160 different nationalities.
UCW delivers programs that provide students with the applied and theoretical basis for success in the workplace and future academic endeavours. Established in 2004 by David Strong, former University of Victoria president, UCW offers quality education with courses that transfer broadly into the public education system. Courses are offered at UCW’s downtown Vancouver campus and online. For more information visit www.ucanwest.ca.
Carol Thorbes, Communications/Media Relations